Monday, September 30, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My inquiry to editor of medical journal that published controversial "Heimlich for asthma" experiment using Barbados kids

Via Mystery Study, an August 7 news report published by Barbados Today:
The Ministry of Health is officially probing the existence of a controversial asthma study purportedly done in Barbados and involving a famous American physician.

But amid continued external queries about whether the research “followed legal and ethical guidelines”, Acting Permanent Secretary Tennyson Springer said initial investigations had found no evidence of its existence.
The research in question reportedly focused on using the Heimlich Manoeuvre to help manage asthma in pediatric patients.
...Last month Springer responded on the Ministry of Health’s behalf and told (Peter) Heimlich that there was no knowledge of the study which was said to have involved 67 minors.
...An abstract of the study concluded that it “provided data to support the potential benefits of the modified Heimlich Manoeuvre as adjunctive therapy for asthma....

Prof. Everard N. Barton (source)

The abstract was published in the West Indian Medical Journal whose current editor is Professor Everard N. Barton of The University of the West Indies in Jamaica

Below is a letter I sent yesterday in which I asked him and the journal's editorial board to investigate the Barbados study and to make public their findings. Click here to download a copy.

Click here for my web page that includes links to other related media reports and more information.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Saint Louis University claims medical "atrocites" conducted on AIDS patients were regulated by Chinese government; I've asked the school's Board of Trustees to substantiate the claim

Via St. Louis University Under Fire for Work with Doctor Who Infected AIDS Patients with Malaria by staff reporter Sam Levin of The Riverfront Times, published a couple days ago:
With the support of a National Institutes of Health grant, Saint Louis University is partnering with a controversial Chinese doctor who once infected AIDS patients with malaria as part of a widely criticized practice.

The doctor in question is Xiaoping Chen of China's Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH), which is partnering with the Center for World Health and Medicine at Saint Louis University to develop treatments for malaria. This collaboration is now facing scrutiny after Peter Heimlich -- son of the man behind the "Heimlich maneuver" -- began raising questions about Chen's past.

...With specific citations, (Peter) Heimlich writes in an e-mail to Daily RFT:
The "malariotherapy" experiments in China, conducted for over a decade by Dr. Chen in conjunction with Cincinnati's Heimlich Institute, have been called "atrocities" by the World Health Organization. Medical experts have condemned the work as "charlatanism of the highest order." Research subjects included prisoners who were controlled by hired guards. In one case, a woman with full-blown AIDS, suffering from pneumonia and hooked up to oxygen, was infected with malaria.
...(A spokeswoman added), "Saint Louis University has no connection to the malaria and AIDS research conducted in the 1990s in question. Further we have looked into issues raised about Dr. Chen's previous research and have confirmed that this research was done in accordance with the regulatory authority of China at that time."
I bolded that last sentence because upon it hangs the university's credibility -- and maybe more.

I wanted to ask a SLU media representative to provide me with the name and job title of the Chinese government official who provided the university with that information.

Clayton Berry, Donald Linhorst (source)

But there's a little problem -- this e-mail I received the day after the SLU/Chen partnership story was broken by Associated Press reporter Alan Scher Zagier:

So yesterday I took it to the university's Board of Trustees.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In another test of the Chicago Tribune's claimed "no statute of limitations" corrections policy, a grieving father tells about his encounter with reporter Julie Deardorff [UPDATED]

UPDATE (9/26): Gordon informed me that on September 11 he sent Tribune standards editor Margaret Holt a courtesy follow-up e-mail to his September 4 corrections request (below), but has not received any communications from her or any other representative of the newspaper.

Gordon T. Pratt (source)
A November 2003 journalism conference at Vanderbilt University produced Focus On Accuracy, an article about how the Chicago Tribune handles corrections.

Here's a snip quoting Trib editor Margaret Holt.

Nice words, but as I reported on August 26, Actor David Hasselhoff says claims published in three Chicago Tribune articles are lies, but the paper refuses to publish a correction.

From 1993-2009, three Tribune articles falsely claimed the Baywatch star endorsed and served on the board of the Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF), a Chicago nonprofit reportedly under investigation by the Illinois Attorney General for the "possible $9 million misappropriation" of federal and state tax dollars.

The Tribune editor who refused to correct the lies information her paper published about The Hoff?

Margaret "No Statute of Limitations on Errors" Holt.

[11/25/13 UPDATE ARTICLE BASED ON NEWLY-AVAILABLE DOCUMENTS: Why did actor David Hasselhoff lie to me about his role with a shady nonprofit now under investigation for "possible $9m misappropriation"? Based on this information, I've retracted my corrections request to The Tribune.]

So I e-mailed her an inquiry requesting an explanation for her decision, plus I reiterated a previous request that she provide me with a copy of the Tribune's corrections policy.

I discussed the situation with my friend Gordon Pratt of Milwaukee because he'd told me about a dreadful related encounter he'd had in 1995 with a Tribune reporter.

Here's the result -- click here to download a copy.